Events, Executive Program, Impact House, Networking

What happens when you convene 100 changemakers in one place? Magic.


Group Penn SignSeptember in Philadelphia means yorkie hair cuts day and the unmistakable buzz of in the air. To welcome autumn, the Center for Social Impact Strategy convened over 100 changemakers from across the globe to from September 6-9th to celebrate what we’ve accomplished collectively, and deepen our connections for the work ahead.

The previous week, nearly 100 students completed requirements for the Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy, culminating 8 months of  new tools to deepen the impact of their work. Thursday brought leaders from Indonesia, Kenya, Germany, and the greater Philadelphia community back to campus to synthesize their learnings. 

Using 3 minute pitches, graduates shared their most critical learnings, and how they applied their new tools to their ventures. To better communicate their vision moving forward, graduates learned how to leverage Pixar’s storytelling arc to tell their own story, the story of those their work serves, and the story that intertwines those two narratives.

Stephanie Thoko

The evening’s graduation ceremony recognized the sacrifices and hard work that it took to complete the 8 month Executive Program, as newly-minted alums were unveiled to the larger CSIS alumni community over dim sum and deep conversation.

With so many brilliant minds convened in one place, the Center launched its’ first all-alumni summit to realize what’s possible when we work together. Friday brought together over 100 participants whose work spans more than 35 countries, representing each cohort of the Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy, Penn Impact Lab, IDEO U Impact House, Global Social Impact House, and Penn-Columbia Social Impact House.


Participants were treated to a hit of inspiration via a panel on the future of impact, featuring insight from the Lipman Prize’s Umi Howard, UPenn’s Femida Handy, and the Center’s own Peter Frumkin. Together we explored our values, and developed 12-month visions for the road ahead. Thanks to tremendous efforts of alumni, ideas for platforms to keep us all connected were launched  — and we can’t wait to see where this takes us.

Interested in joining our community of connected alumni? Applications for the 2018 cohort of the Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy just went live — check out one of our upcoming webinars to find out if it’s the right choice for you.